Dream car now a reality for Frazee teen with terminal cancer
Tyler Shipman knew ahead of time what was going into his beloved Pontiac Fiero, but the finished product exceeded his expectations.
"It came out way nicer than I thought it was going to," he said.
More than 20 people from across the country came together this past weekend in Frazee, Minn., to fulfill a wish of the 18-year-old with terminal cancer.
Shipman's 1986 Fiero GT got the full tricked-out treatment and emerged from the garage in a bright-yellow paint job on Sunday. A smiling Shipman sat for the first time in the revamped ride.
"It went really, really well," said his mother, Daneele Shipman. "I mean, they stayed up all night to work on the car. I think they got it done about an hour before they revealed it. They did an awesome job. It looks fabulous."
Shipman suffers from a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma. After attempts to treat the cancer failed, he decided to step up efforts to restore his Fiero to mint condition. He sought help Oct. 29 on an online message board for Fiero fans, and its members took over the cause.
Shipman thanked everyone who helped with the project, giving a special thanks to Andy Weigle, a soldier from Pennsylvania serving in Iraq who led the effort from afar. Shipman was able to talk to him by webcam on Saturday.
In a message posted Monday, Weigle wrote to Shipman: "I hope this turned out to be more than you could have imagined, and I hope this keeps a smile on your face for a long time to come."